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March 03, 2004

The Problem with Nader

I have great respect for Ralph Nader's activism over the years, and even more importantly, the inspiration and organizing impetus he has give so many other great organizations, Public Citizen, the PIRGS, and a slew of DC-based consumer protection groups.

But The New Republic Online makes the argument that Ralph's misguided Presidential runs are part of a pattern of holding out for the perfect and absolute good, and thereby losing the better. He has a pattern of refusing to compromise and dooming initiatives he cared about.

I would also note that just on substance, Nader was enamored in the 1970s with deregulation as a way to hurt "monopoly" big business, but the result of that deregulation was not a better capitalism, but one of corporate raids and takeovers, financial dealings, and all-out assaults on decent-paying jobs in those formerly regulated industries like trucking and the airlines.

But that said, Nader may end up being remembered most for helping to put George W. Bush in the White House, but his dedication to environmental and consumer rights should also never be forgotten, no matter how idiotic his present political judgement may be.

Posted by Nathan at March 3, 2004 08:42 AM